Can a Minor Have a Checking Account?

by Sandi Kelly Showalter ; Updated July 27, 2017
Many banks and credit unions have special accounts for teens.

Your 12-year-old daughter snagged several babysitting jobs.Your 16-year-old-son just got a part-time job at a fast food place. Now they need somewhere to cash their checks. In today's world, minors can open checking accounts, usually with a little help from you.

Laws for Minor Checking Accounts

Laws vary from state to state and no federal guidelines exist concerning minor checking accounts. Different banks and credit unions have various rules for opening an account for a minor. Many banks and credit unions that allow minors to open checking accounts require a parent, guardian or other adult to add their name to the account and remain on it until the child reaches 18.

Minimum Age

Some states specifically allow minors to open checking accounts, but do not set a minimum age. Each institution determines the age that they permit a minor to solely, or jointly with an adult, open a checking account.

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Teen Programs

To help minors, especially teens, learn to manage their money, some banks and credit unions partner up with local high schools and create branches directly in the school, even providing an ATM. Certain institutions will create newsletters and online resources aimed at teenagers to help them manage their accounts.

About the Author

Sandi Kelly Showalter became a professional freelance writer in 2008, in addition to her role as an entrepreneur. Her articles have appeared for Future Business Leaders of America and in such places as "Pipeline" and the websites EyeOnSoaps and BetterRVing. Showalter received her Bachelor of Arts in mass communications from the University of South Florida.

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